Whether you run a shop with an e-commerce site, or trade solely online, the experiences your customers have with your business will greatly influence their decision to purchase your product or service.
Hinging sales performance on product or price alone isn’t a sustainable strategy because you are directly competing with every other retailer who sells a similar product at a similar price. With Amazon about to launch in Australia and access to retailers across the globe, it’s now easier than ever for customers to go somewhere else.
Emotion is a fundamental element in a customer’s decision to buy your product, which is where customer experience comes into play.
What is customer experience?
In its simplest form, customer experience is the way a customer perceives your business. From communication and marketing messages to product design, during and after the purchase process, to the staff you have interacting with your customers and even what’s happening at a management level, these elements can affect how your customer perceives your business.
Think about how this ties into your brand promise – what is it that you are trying to deliver to your customers and why should they choose you over your competitors?
How do I create an exceptional customer experience?
Creating an exceptional customer experience starts with breaking down each touch point a customer has with your business. Examine the people, technology and designs that go into selling your product and identify any gaps between what you want your customers to perceive and what they do see. You can create an emotional connection to your customer where they feel valued and that their needs and wants are met.
Research has shown that many Australians still prefer to visit a physical store to make a purchase, even after extensive online browsing. A survey conducted by Galaxy Research in 2016 indicates that customers want to be able to try on clothes, ask questions and assess the quality of the product before they buy.
Think about the ways your customers interact with your staff, how easy your products are to find, and the overall ambience when you reflect on how a customer feels when they are in your store.
Embrace the power of technology
The majority of online searches are conducted on mobile, opening up ample opportunities to tap into technology to deliver seamless transitions from online browsing to in-store purchasing. Up to three-quarters of Australians use their smartphone or tablet to aid in the buying process, so mobile needs to be a top priority.
Some simple steps you can take right away include making sure you are listed as a Google Local Business and that your social media sites are active and up to date. Most mobile searches happen as soon as someone thinks of a topic or idea, and if your business is nearby and offers the solution they are looking for, you’ve just increased your chances at making a sale.
For retailers with an online presence, ensuring accurate and timely delivery of your products is paramount, with many consumers saying that this is what frustrates them the most about shopping online. Looking at ways to create custom content for your target demographics can go a long way towards delivering more personalised service to online customers.
Investing in creating experiences that keep your customers coming back can be costly, but you shouldn’t let the initial outlay deter you from realising the long term benefits.
Bigstone Finance can offer fast, flexible loans from $10,000 to $5,000,000 for assets and equipment for your business.